The Puzzle of Colour - TSG Summer School

One of my small hand stitched samples - viscose satin, silk and scrim.

OOhhh!!! What a week we had - pure colour and enjoyment. 'The puzzle of colour' was the one week workshop delivered by Ruth Issett. The other workshops were 'Tales of the unexpected' with Kay Greenlees and 'Magic in the making' with Mary Sleigh.

The TSG summer school is a 5 day residential at Harper Adams University in Newport, Shropshire. One of the joys of these summer schools is that there is no washing up, cooking or phone calls. Just the opportunity to work uninterrupted - FANTASTIC.

 Ruth in action doing 'one to ones' with each member of the group.

Any one who has read any of my books or who knows me professionally will know that Ruth is one of the guiding lights in my 'career' and that I think she is a Superstar! So I jump at any chance to work with her. You can never learn or know enough about colour.

Our week was based on looking at the relationship between colours. We didn't use dye all week which meant we could concentrate on composition and stitch. We worked through various colour exercise including mark making and collage. I won't go through them with you as they are Ruth's ideas - not mine.

I can show you the small layered, hand stitched samples looking at complimentary colours. My little paper collage is in the middle - the samples are all around 4" square.

I didn't create anything like as many finished or well considered samples as  most of the group but what I did I was pleased with. To be totally honest I was just pleased to sit and stitch - please note I don't use the word embroider, there is a difference. Working in a room, surrounded by a fabulous group and so much colour is very therapeutic. I think we all had one of the best weeks ever - one of the magical times. It was of course a lot to do with such an excellent and generous tutor.

Three of my small samples with a detail of my very elegant herringbone stitch!!!

Because we were working with pre dyed fabrics I was able to use some of the fabrics I had dyed on previous course with Ruth. 

 These are simple samples playing with colours using very my very basic stitch repertoire. I was first introduced to viscose satin five years ago on another summer school with Ruth. I love how it shines and how it feels to hold when you hand stitch it. I tend to use matt, sewing machine threads for stitch. 

I so enjoyed my week - if any of the group do look at this blog - thank you for such a wonderful time and for being such fun and so supportive.

Love to Jill and Tallulah!


The summer school finishes at 2pm on Friday which is not the best time to drive down to Brighton so I nipped over to Redditch to my see my lovely friend Brenda Killigrew at The Old Needleworks where I teach Experimental Textiles. I didn't want to start driving home till about 8pm when almost everyone in the U.K. would be watching the Olympic opening ceremony. Brenda and I had a good chance to have long chat about next year over a delicious Indian meal.
We have sorted out a new summer school programme for The Old Needleworks next year - it will be very exciting. 

We also talked about the materials I would be needing to teach my course in October in Spain for Brenda's company Castanea
We had a very productive meeting, it was great to see Brenda on her own and out of college where she is always so busy - we got a lot of things sorted. She is a great friend and like so many of my friends, and I don't see her often enough.

I have a week at home this week to sort out piles of paper work and emails. The garden and the house also need sorting out - they are both in a right state. Although I was very pleased to return home and find my pots of annuals hadn't died in the heat . . .

I hope the next post will contain images of the piles of weeds, brambles and BINDWEED I need to pull or dig out!



  1. Your samples have photographed wonderfully and reflect the week 100% What fun we had, how many sleeps now? Hopefully...
    p.s. I've been tidying and cleaning windows although I have scanned my drawings into the computer to play with in Photoshop. xx

    1. Well done on the windows and the tidying - do let me know how you get on with photoshop. You produced some very beautiful work and I know you are motivated enough to see it through.
      There are 358 sleeps until July 22nd 2013, so not long . . . we hope!!!
      Have a great week, x x x x x x x x

  2. I love these gorgeous stitched samples - oh how I wish all these workshops were not a 20 hour flight away and I could do them

  3. Hi Vicki,
    I know, it can be so hard but you can do this too - I realise it's not the same as working with Ruth but you could have a dyeing day with a group of friends and then the next week have fun playing with colours and stitch.
    Ruth's book Colour on Cloth is out in paperback and I would recommend this book if you don't already have it.
    Have a go my lovely, it is such fun playing with colour.
    Kim x

  4. Gorgeous summery brights Kim, helps to warm us up over in Southern Oz where we are freezing our pants off!!!


    1. Thanks Jo, If it makes you feel any happier it is drizzly, grey and miserable here in Brighton . . . Think colourful thoughts my lovely. x x x


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